Dressed in a white guayabera and loose-fitting grandpa jeans, Robert Platshorn walks onto a small stage set up in the clubhouse of Lakes of Delray, a 55-and-over condo development in Delray Beach.
About 300 snow-haired residents sit on dining-room chairs on a midafternoon in early March. They’ve shown up to hear Platshorn talk about the herbal remedy that cost him the prime years of his adult life. “I’m the guy who spent 30 years in prison for marijuana,” Platshorn tells the crowd. “First offense. Nonviolent. Yet I got the longest sentence ever given at the time: 64 years.”
In the 1970s, the septuagenarian was a leader of the Black Tuna Gang, a pot-smuggling crew Platshorn assembled with two pals that became law enforcement’s first big catch in the War on Drugs. In its heyday, the Black Tuna Gang transported 500 tons of high-grade Santa Marta Gold cannabis from Colombia into the United